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Batts Kenneth P. M.D.; Ludwig, Jurgen M.D.
The American Journal of Surgical Pathology: December 1995
Chronic Hepatitis: PDF Only

The terms chronic active hepatitis (CAH), chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH), and chronic lobular hepatitis (CLH) have become obsolete, and their use without further specifications should be discontinued. This recommendation has become necessary because these names have changed from descriptive terms, intended for grading, to terms that are used either as morphologic diagnoses or disease designations or both, depending on individual preferences. Because this practice has caused serious misunderstandings, many authors and two international groups have recommended the use of a clear etiologic terminology. For the reporting practice of pathologists, we recommend that the pathologist routinely sign our biopsy samples with features of chronic hepatitis by indicating etiology, grade, and stage. An example would be autoimmune hepatitis, severe, stage 3. The stage in this case would indicate the presence of welldeveloped septal fibrosis but no nodular regeneration. Obviously, for the etiologic diagnosis, morphologic findings must be integrated with clinical and laboratory data. If this information is not available, clear morphologic diagnoses should be reported. Thus, instead of CPH, the diagnosis should be portal hepatitis, cause undetermined. This reporting practice eliminates ambiguous terminology and avoids the risk of inappropriate treatment as might occur, for example, when a term such as CAH is used to describe Wilson's disease and is misunderstood to mean autoimmune hepatitis. For a transitional period and to facilitate relearning, the terms CAH, CPH, and CLH can be reported in parentheses behind the etiologic diagnosis.

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